Police officers who pulled a dying man from the wreckage of a road accident have spoken about the tragic incident.
Two police officers in Derbyshire came across the scene of an accident involving two cars while on their way to another call.
They immediately got out and started to help, noticing a man with serious injuries, including two broken legs, and was still in his car, unable to move.
The officers managed to free the man from his car before putting him on a stretcher as other officers arrived at the scene.
The 72-year-old man officers pulled from the wreckage was airlifted to hospital but didn’t survive. However, thanks to the officers’ efforts, they did manage to give him enough time to say goodbye to his family.
Speaking to Derbyshire Live, one of the officers, who did not give their name, said:
Although we didn’t save his life, the coroner at his inquest said that we gave him a chance to say goodbye to his family.
His injuries were horrific – I could not believe he was still conscious when we got to him, but the fact we helped him say goodbye to his family will always stick with me.
PC Robinson, one of the officers at the scene, said:
We were travelling to another job and went round a corner in the road and were faced with carnage.
We think that it happened just a few moments before we arrived. We had to call off what we were going to and deal with this incident.
There were two cars involved that had hit head-on, and one car was completely crushed.
Then the crushed car started to smoke. We took out our fire extinguishers and reported the incident. It took about five minutes for other officers to join us at the scene.
As the smoke and fire got worse, the officers made the difficult decision to pull the man out of the car. There was no way of saving the other driver.
PC Robinson added:
Unfortunately, there was nothing that we could do for the person in the crushed car except keep the flames under control.
But there was a risk that the flames would spread to the other car so we had to take the decision to pull the other driver out of the vehicle.
The unnamed officer said:
We attended because we are advanced first aiders. We went to the smashed car and we tried to fight the flames but we couldn’t get to him. So we concentrated on the one in the other car.
Since the accident, all five officers who attended the accident – PCs Robinson, Cocking, Meek, Parker and the unnamed officer – have been given a commendation by Derbyshire police Chief Constable, Peter Goodman, for their bravery and service.
Derbyshire police officers have been commended for their outstanding work, bravery, heroism and hard work, in a glamourous awards ceremony held at @Derbyshireccc earleir this week. See a full list of winners on our website: https://t.co/nytGbNWjTg pic.twitter.com/c3GUUYH3Y5
— Derbyshire Police (@DerbysPolice) September 13, 2018
At an awards ceremony for the entire constabulary recently, Chief Constable Goodman said:
This is an opportunity to say thank you for all that they have done, but it is also an opportunity to say thank you to the public too.
Our staff do brilliant things day in, day out and these awards are about going the extra mile.
With all the scrutiny police often face, it’s courageous acts like this which remind us what they’re here for.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.